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Falling Aussie dollar sparks cashed-up foreign buyers to re-enter executive property market

Media release - 7th June, 2013

Sydney prestige properties attracting overseas buyers

  • Executive homes valued above $2 million are attracting more foreign buyer attention in markets such as Palm Beach, Mosman and Double Bay
  • Factors such as the falling Australian dollar and lower interest rates have made Sydney’s executive property market more attractive
  • Stronger share market returns are also creating a foundation for investment in Sydney real estate

The weaker Australian dollar and lower interest rates are combining to attract Australian expat workers and Chinese nationals to Sydney executive homes priced above $2 million, according to leading real estate group, Raine & Horne.

“Despite the RBA’s decision to leave interest rates on hold, there are encouraging signs that demand for executive properties valued above $2 million is stronger, particularly where vendors are prepared to meet buyer expectations,” says Angus Raine, CEO of Raine & Horne.

“It’s also fair to expect that if the Australian dollar continues to fall, cashed-up foreign-based buyers and investors will start to park even more cash in Australian bricks and mortar.”

With this in mind, it’s been reported that global bank, Credit Suisse, expects the Australian dollar to fall to 92 US cents within three months, and 85 US cents by May 2014.

Glenn Lee, Principal of Raine & Horne Palm Beach, agrees that a number of contributing factors are aiding the significant increase in overseas buyer enquiry for executive homes.

“Firstly there has been the rallying of the stock market in 2013, which often runs parallel with growing levels of property enquiry,” said Mr Lee.

“At the same time, the recent correction of the Australian dollar has resulted in a pick-up in overseas enquiries, primarily from expats in Singapore, Hong Kong and London.”

Mr Lee said that expats saw little value in Australian property when the dollar was running well above parity against the US greenback.

“Expats were complaining that Australian property was 20% to 30% more expensive than a couple of years ago, even with the corrections in the housing market,” said Mr Lee.

“The fall of the dollar and lower interest rates are once again attracting motivated expat buyers to the Australian housing market.”

Brendan Warner, Principal of Raine & Horne Mosman, agrees there has been an increase in expat enquiries for executive homes, although the blue-chip Lower North Shore region is also attracting plenty of attention from Chinese nationals.

“Mainland Chinese nationals have aggressively competed for homes over the last six months,” said Mr Warner, who indicates that properties priced between $2 million and $3.5 million are popular with local and foreign buyers, although a shortage of available housing stock is restricting the ambitions of some buyers.

Recent improvement in buyer sentiment for executive homes, according to Mr Warner, is even flowing into the prestige market, with properties valued above $4 million achieving strong results.

A case in point is the four bedroom residence at 8 Markham Close, Mosman, which recently sold for $4.8 million.

“This property, which contains a swimming pool and views towards Sydney Harbour, only hit the market a month before it sold,” said Mr Warner. 

Barry Goldman, Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Double Bay-Bondi Beach, said overseas internet enquiry has picked up for exclusive real estate in his region.

“We have noticed an increase in the number of emails from expat buyers residing in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK for premier residences in Double Bay, Vaucluse, Bondi and Bellevue Hill.

“The combination of a lack of stock at the top end and the growing number of qualified buyers in the market is likely to improve the chances of a great sales result in the coming months,” said Mr Goldman, who added that properties with views are generating the most enquiries.


For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, CEO, Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697

Andrew Harrington, National Marketing & Communications Coordinator on 02 9258 5400